Local sportNUFC

Graeme Carrick praises “unbelievable” Toon fans as 2588 brave -4 degree-weather to watch U18s at St James’ Park

Newcastle U18 head coach Graeme Carrick has said playing in front of over 2,500 Geordies at St James’ Park was a “valuable experience” for his Young Magpies side despite losing 5-0 to Bournemouth in the FA Youth Cup.

Newcastle United U18s coach Graeme Carrick. (Source: Chronicle)

“It’s part of the learning, in terms of a big game at St James’ Park with family and friends” Carrick said.

“An unbelievable turn out from the fans on such a cold night as well. So that emotion is almost one of the things you have go to try and manage.”

Newcastle fell behind after 56 seconds after Cherries forward Ashley Clarke swept the ball past the keeper at the Gallowgate end. Number nine Jonny Stuttle scored a hat-trick on the night and a free kick from Jack Holman compiled the misery for the young Geordies.

Eddie Howe was in attendance at the game as were club chiefs Darren Eales and Dan Ashworth as Carrick praised the club’s “excellent” support of the academy teams.

“The club really got behind this,” said Carrick.

“The biggest part of that is the manager being here showing his support and the opportunity for the lads to train with the first team on a daily basis.

“There’s certainly a pathway for the lads when they’re ready for it and if they grasp it. Obviously the manager being here is a huge boost for the lads.”

Newcastle’s U18s travel to local rivals Sunderland next and Carrick thinks the team can take “a lot” from their night at St James’ to that game.

“In some ways there’s no better game to go into,” he said.

“It’s another test and we’ve got to be ready for that. You always get really tough games at all levels against Sunderland so I look forward to that and I look forward to how the lads respond to it.”